Maria Montessori

Maria Tecla Artemesia Montessori was born in the tiny Italian village of Chiaravalle on August 31, 1870. She was raised in a middle-class home with educated parents, and she, too, was well-educated and a voracious reader. Maria Montessori was the first woman in Italy to enroll in medical school and practice medicine. She eventually became an educator and is most recognized for her publications on scientific pedagogy and the educational philosophy that bears her name. She understood that when children are given "an environment" where activities are tailored to assist their natural growth, they make amazing progress, based on her observations and experimental studies in schools. This improvement was demonstrated, among other things, by youngsters reading and writing at a young age.

Dr. Montessori had children as patients as a physician and was fascinated by their growth. She discovered that children create their own identities when they interact with their surroundings after rigorous and comprehensive examination. Maria's hunger for knowledge grew as she immersed herself in several subjects of study before developing the teaching technique.

Her educational philosophy was informed by her studies in biology, psychology, and anthropology. In various countries throughout the world, she examined youngsters of many ethnicities and cultures. In 1907, she opened her first classroom, "Casa dei Bambini," or "Children's House." Maria Montessori was able to develop the "prepared learning" atmosphere she felt was best for sense learning and creative inquiry at the school. Teachers were urged to take a stand. back and "follow the child," allowing children's natural interests to guide the way.

Maria committed herself to improving her child-centered approach to education in the years after that, and for the remainder of her life. She gave several talks, published papers and books, and created a Montessori teacher training program. Montessori education spread over the world thanks to her efforts and those of her followers.